Links 2/5/2023

Jupiter: The Only Planet in our Solar System That Doesn’t Orbit the Sun Physics-Astronomy




Mississippi Lawmakers Trying To Take Over Jackson Water Funds, Federal Manager Warns Mississippi Free Press

Pumping Mississippi water to the West still being considered to address droughts Minnpost



Aiming to Harm Iran and Syria, US Federal Reserve Strangles Iraq’s Economy Antiwar

In Douma cover-up, OPCW’s new smoking gun backfires Aaron Mate

Old Blighty

Revealed: British government spied on Palestinian refugees Electronic Intifada


Indian budget intensifies austerity for working people, hikes military spending WSWS

Indian watchdog tells investors markets stable despite Adani rout Reuters

The New Map Of Oil: How India Turns Russia’s Crude Into The West’s Fuel Bloomberg


Biden’s ‘Sputnik moment’: Is China’s spy balloon political warfare? The Hill (Kevin W)

Chinese & American Hardliners Are Likely Responsible For Blinken Postponing His Trip To Beijing Andrew Korybko’s Newsletter

Caitlin Johnstone: US Surrounds China With War Machinery While Freaking Out About Balloons Caitlin Johnstone

Filipinos Protest US Military Deal Eying China Consortium News h

China and the U.S. Are Wooing Indonesia, and Beijing Has the Edge NYT


Why Chinese Companies Are Investing Billions in Mexico NYT

New Not-So-Cold War

Realism, Bluff and Chinese Balloons: Who’s Afraid of F16s? Empire, Communication and NATO Wars

How Joe Biden’s Hubris Could Lead to a Multipolar World The Real Politick with Mark Sleboda

How a Network of Nazi Propagandists Helped Lay the Groundwork for the War in Ukraine CovertAction Magazine ht

European Union urges intensification of Ukraine war WSWS



US pledges longer-range ‘small-diameter bomb’ for Ukraine Defense News.  Capable of striking nearly 100 miles into Russia.

The Arsenal of Democracy Isn’t imetatronink


‘Shadow Fleet’ of Tankers Hauling Russian Oil Swells to 600 Ships, Trafigura Says Bloomberg

U.S. Oil Is Replacing Russian Crude In EU Markets Oil Price

Turkey says West failed to share details of security threat AP

Foreign Minister Soylu: Every American ambassador who comes to Turkey is in a hurry to “how can I make a coup in Turkey” BNN

South of the Border

Biden administration reaffirms “US support” for murderous regime in Peru WSWS


The Born Loser The American Conservative. Nikki Haley

Ron DeSantis and the Third Wave of American Fascism Eudomonia & Co.

Imperial Collapse Watch

The failed US counterterror approach in Mozambique Responsible Statecraft. “Green Berets in a training-only mission to ‘prevent the spread of terrorism and violent extremism.'”  Okay, sounds good.

Total CEO expected in Mozambique after gas project haltedEnergy World

Realignment and Legitimacy

Mathew D. Rose – Democracy hasn’t failed, it just doesn’t exist any more Brave New Europe

The Neo-Nazi Hunter Next Door Rolling Stone (Kevin W)

GOP Clown Car

The African American Studies AP Debacle The American Prospect

Democrats en déshabillé

Dianne Feinstein’s extremely awkward, very uncomfortable exit from the political stage Politico

Woke Watch


How prior authorization can kill: a 2-year-old with cancer; a young woman needing chemo; and a 17-year-old in need of a transplant Health Care Un-covered

The ‘hard truth’ about staffing shortages: They aren’t going away Becker’s Hospital Review

Supply Chain/Inflation

Blaze from 50-car train derailment in Ohio still burning Guardian

Our No Longer Free Press


New York joins anti-trust lawsuit against Google The Capitol Pressroom. Matt Stoller.

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. digi_owl

    So Jupiter is large enough to almost behave like a binary star system. Brings to mind a a certain movie.

    Anyways, thanks for the small diameter bomb article, as it gave me the right name for something i had read about but forgotten the name of: GLSDB.

    Seems Boeing has been in collaboration with SAAB of all companies in developing this. Basically it straps a rocket at back end of an existing glide bomb, that allows it to be fired from existing rocket artillery platforms.

    I suspect i first read about it as an alternative ammo for mothballed (thanks to the cluster bomb ban) Norwegian MLRS artillery. Though said vehicles where instead handed over to UK to replace the ones they in turn donated to Ukraine (supposedly).

    These bombs can supposedly hit targets even behind the launch direction of the platform, though with a sharply reduced range.

  2. DJG, Reality Czar

    On the distemper of the citizenry:

    Marco Travaglio reports this morning in his column in Fatto Quotidiano that 73 percent of Italians (just polled by Termometro Politico) don’t want Zelensky to show up at Sanremo. (Recently, the endless-Zoom-crasher was invited by Bruno Vespa with seemingly no authorization from RAI, the state-owned broadcaster.)

    Obviously, such political unreliables as the Italian people will have to be taught a lesson. Either Ursula van der Incompetent will balloon in wearing her trademark blue-and-yellow stylings. Or, worse, we will be “couped” during the Sanremo Festival. Where is Victoria Nuland these days?

    Let’s hope that Amadeus teams Zelensky up with Al Bano. You’ll hear the sound of fifteen million television sets being turned off at the same time.

    In short: I doubt that there’s much genuine support in any of the “PIIGS” for the Ukraine adventure. But that’s why we are the PIIGS.

  3. The Rev Kev

    “Dianne Feinstein’s extremely awkward, very uncomfortable exit from the political stage”

    It’s always possible that old Joe Biden might throw Feinstein a lifeline. Why would he do that? Just imagine a meeting between the two-

    Dianne Feinstein: ‘Joe, I need your help and support. They want to kick me out.’

    Joe Biden: ‘C’mon, Dianne. Why would I put myself out for you? You’re not raising money like you use to.’

    Dianne Feinstein: ‘At 89 they say I am too old and losing my marbles.’

    Joe Biden: ‘So? So?’

    Dianne Feinstein: ‘Think about it. Nancy is already gone. I’m only a few years older than you and you have been slipping your cogs too – like when you said that half the women in your admin are women. If I go, you’re next.’

    Joe Biden: ….’Dianne, I will give you my full and total public support. Watch my press conference this afternoon.’

    1. griffen

      The fictional film series Fast and the Furious, at least the early entries, had a catchphrase which I thought worked really well. Ride or Die. Seems like our lifetime sitting politicians and sitting Supreme occupants have a similar catchphrase, Retire or Die. It would seem the esteemed voters in CA do have an option when it comes to her early retirement, but that also seems much too logical in American politics.

      1. SET

        I vote for Barbara Lee! At least in the Primary…Schiff, I’ll hold my nose…I want a Progressive. Barbara has been on the wrong side about Ukraine, but so have ALL the Dems.

    2. fresno dan

      so Eisenhower was 70 at the COMPLETION of his presidency. Reagan, that spring chicken, was 78 at the END of his service.
      I remember when Reagan ran in 1980, his age than was an issue
      Can’t the Americans find any replacements for these codgers??? I can only put forth the theory that American politics is so stulified because Americans just don’t take it seriously.

      1. Wukchumni

        If America is indeed going downhill, put a dartful codger in charge!

        I’m the youngest on this go round @ Mammoth, beating out the competition by 5 months on another codger who shares the same birthday as Obama, with the oldest being 72 years young.

        The fact is though, who wants to work when they’re retired-as we all are, so ixnay on the over the hill gang who will not accept any nominations to be the head honcho, big cheese, the decider, etc.

    3. Mildred Montana

      Feinstein might have one final accomplishment in mind (if I can use the word “mind”). If she can hold on until 2041 she will beat the unkillable Strom Thurmond’s record of forty-eight years as longest serving senator—of South Carolina. She would have to live to be 108 in order to achieve that summit.

      The odds don’t look good however. Thurmond lived to be a mere 100, but according to Wiki:

      ‘Retrospectively, a Senate aide stated that “for his last ten years, Thurmond didn’t know if he was on foot or on horseback”, while a 2020 New Yorker article stated that he was “widely known” by the end of his career to be “non-compos mentis.”

      If it comes to that for Feinstein, I only wonder if Senate security will tolerate her “sundowning”* in the Senate, wandering the halls and committee rooms from dusk to dawn.

      *The term “sundowning” refers to a state of confusion occurring in the late afternoon and lasting into the night. Sundowning can cause different behaviors, such as confusion, anxiety, aggression or ignoring directions. Sundowning can also lead to pacing or wandering.

      1. juno mas

        I listened to a political discussion program where a news analyst said DiFi was using the Senate as a de facto, free “assisted living” facility. Seems accurate.

        1. Mildred Montana

          That’s funny! Rumor has it that, until the very end, Thurmond was able to sit up staight in his Senate chair.

      2. jp

        She was just sort of endorsed by Pelosi who said she would vote for Shiff unless Feinstein was going to run.

    4. Questa Nota

      Feinstein appears to have some goals.
      1. Keep the CA Senate seat Dem
      2. Hold on long enough to make sure that scandals, e.g., DiFiChiSpy, get sunsetted or otherwise buried
      3. Preserve ill-gotten loot for estate
      4. In spare time, think about, well, what was I thinking about

      1. JBird4049

        Do any of those goals include doing her job of representing and working for her fellow Californians?

        And to think that I was dumb enough to vote for her.

  4. Martin Oline

    I watched the movie Amsterdam last night which was available to me through a temporary HBO promotion through Sunday. Over all the movie was light weight but half way through it I realized the character of General Gil Dillenbeck, played by Robert De Niro, is copied after the real life of Smedley Butler, the Marine Major General who was awarded two Congressional Medals of Honor and left active duty in 1931. He gave testimony in 1934 to Congress about what became known as The Business Plot. The news media dismissed the plot, with a New York Times editorial characterizing it as a “gigantic hoax”. This dismissal by the media sounds very familiar today. Look, up in the sky, a BALLOON!
    Butler later wrote the expose War Is A Racket in 1935. He summed up his military service by writing “Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.” The book The Plot To Seize The White House by Jules Archer (pub. 1973) was based on the Business Plot. I had a copy of this book 20 years ago and found it was selling for over $100 online. The reason for this was Oliver Stone had bought the movie rights and was considering this project at the time. The book has since been republished and is inexpensive and easily available.
    Stone’s movie JFK cost about $40Bn. to make and eventually grossed $70.4Bn. in the US and $205.4Bn. worldwide. It received a hostile reception from the press before and after its release. It is possible Oliver Stone could not see a way to present the story of The Plot To Seize The White House to the American public that would be profitable. More likely he decided covering current events more important, such as his documentary of Hugo Chavez (Mi Amigo Hugo), interviews with V Putin, and producing the movie Ukraine On Fire. Arnon Milchan was an Executive Producer for JFK and he was also an Executive Producer for the movie Amsterdam. He may have been fond of the older project and found a way to incorporate some of the Smedley Butler material into Amsterdam, which was released in 2022 and cost about $80Bn. to make and has made $31.2Bn. in its worldwide release.

    1. The Rev Kev

      People, important people, still do not want to admit that there was any such plot but yes, there actually was such an episode in American history. The families that organized it are still around and still powerful and do not want to be reminded of this episode from their history (DuPont anybody?). Oliver Stone would have more of a chance making a film about the 1920 Wall Street bombing. And the chances of that are zip.

      1. DIogenes

        Prescott Bush was directly implicated.

        Which is why, in some parallel universe, he was exposed to public humiliation, precluding his election to the Senate, and so poisoning the family name that it also made impossible his son and grandson’s public “service” in Congress, the CIA, Texas governorship and the Presidency.

      2. Mildred Montana

        Except Stone got it all wrong despite making an interesting movie. In my humble opinion the assassination of JFK was a mob hit. According to some writers, the mob (with its influence on unions) helped him to win the crucial state of Illinois in the close 1960 election against Nixon.

        How did he repay them? By siccing his brother RFK on organized crime and its strong connections to labor unions (see: Jimmy Hoffa and the Teamsters). I think that would be more than sufficient reason for retaliation and the ultimate penalty for JFK.

        To attribute the assassination to some government agency (CIA, FBI, NSA, etc.) as Stone does is to ignore the fact that said agencies can’t keep a secret for ten years, let alone sixty. Their modus operandi is documentation, protocols, and niceties preventing the elimination of whistleblowers. What government scandal in the past sixty years hasn’t been outed—and usually quickly? I suggest none.

        On the other hand, to 𝘯𝘰𝘵 attribute the assassination to the mob is to ignore several facts:

        1. The silencing of Oswald for his entire 48 hours in the custody of the Dallas Police Force. No recordings of interrogations, no transcripts.
        2. The mob connections of Jack Ruby (the killer of Oswald).
        3. The mob connections of the DPD, which was close to Ruby and even (according to testimony at the Warren Commission) sent a patrol car to Oswald’s residence a mere half-an-hour after the assassination, despite having no idea who they were looking for. Well, actually, they knew. They were looking for Oswald.
        4. The shooting by Oswald of DPD Officer Tippitt, who just “happened” to be in Oswald’s neighborhood and just “happened” to challenge Oswald, apparently for no reason at all.
        5. The lack of protection for Oswald (an obvious target) by the DPD, allowing his “convenient” murder by Ruby.

        The Warren Commission, in its haste to sweep the mess under the carpet, chose to ignore all these facts and many more. Or, for that matter, any testimony before it that didn’t fit with its pre-ordained conclusion that Oswald was the lone lunatic gunman. Guaranteeing that we would be left forever with a mystery and the mob’s code of 𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘳𝘵𝘢.

        1. Screwball

          I don’t know who did it, or why, but I’ll never believe the “official” story. I was a JFK assassination buff for many years. I read countless books from all angles, watched the movies, etc. Finally, in 2008ish I was in Dallas and had a free afternoon so I went to the Museum.

          A few things stuck out.

          1) the security at the museum was tighter than the airports I just flew in and out of. You had to go through a metal detector to get in, take your shoes off, the whole bit. No cameras.

          2) At the time they were working on the 7th floor to expand the museum with only a few displays at that time. I wandered up there and was followed by 3 security people. Why? What was I going to do?

          3) The 6th floor had the snipers nest enclosed in glass with the boxes stacked like the day of the shooting, a rifle and empty shell cases to make it look real. You could stand right beside the corner window but not in the corner. If you looked down at the road, you could see a couple of “X” painted on the street where the limo was when the shots hit Kennedy.

          4) not too far from the corner window was the model of Dealey Plaza and the SBD they used at the Warren Commission hearings. What I found strange with this is they had the entire plaza mocked up, buildings, road, and the same “X”s painted on the road. There was a string that was wound up laying on the street, but it looked like it could have been used to show the trajectory of the bullets from the window to the X on the street – but they were wound up and just laying there. Why?

          I think I know. If the string was strung from the window to where the first shot was suppose to happen you could see the angle of the string in relation to the ground. But if you walked a few yards and compared this angle to looking out the window at the X on the street – the angle wasn’t even close. When you looked out the window at the first X on the street, you are looking almost straight down with not too much of an angle (the plaza was much smaller in person than it looked on TV). If you looked at the model, this angle was much flatter. Guessing, the model angle of the shot looked to be maybe 30 degrees off of flat ground, where looking out the window, it would be closer to 60 (or more) – so not even close.

          The first bullet to hit (the magic bullet that entered his neck, then eventually got Connally (sp?)) would have to have been fired at an angle so steep the bullet, if it hit Kennedy in the neck, would have continued into his body and through the floor of the car and not anywhere near the front seat. The angle is just too steep. But they said it ricochets and hits Connally, which became what they called the “magic” bullet. Yet, it was found on the gurney at Parkland in pristine condition. CE399 I think they called it as evidence. I considered that the smoking gun that the official story was BS. If the bullet hit a bone and ricochets, it wouldn’t be pristine.

          As an aside, after I left the museum I went to the grassy knoll, even standing behind the fence where some think another shot came from. Possible, for sure, and looking at the second “X” on the street, not far away at all. As I said, the plaza isn’t as big as it looks and the distance from the fence to the X is not very far at all. IMO, you wouldn’t even need a rifle. A good shooter could have done it with a pistol. So there is that too.

          Anyway, while I was there, a guy was hawking pictures and CDs on the knoll. It was Robert Groden, who wrote books (I read them) on the assassination. I talked to him and his helper for at least a half hour. I was of course skeptical of what they had to say, but I was curious and had time. He told me there used to be another guy out there with him, but is now the curator of the museum so he wasn’t on the conspiracy train anymore because he was making X bucks at the museum. OK, it’s your story tell it anyway you want. But interesting just the same.

          Then it got really strange. I asked him who really did it. He claimed it was a hitman named Harrelson. Happened to be the dad of the Cheers actor Woody Harrelson. Wow! When I got home I did some more research, and sure enough, it seems Harrelson might have been a hitman, and did kill a Dallas judge. Wild stuff for sure.

          I don’t think we will ever know the truth.

          1. Janeway

            Thanks for some info that isn’t out there unless you go to the museum in person. Interesting is putting it mildly.

        2. Alex Cox

          The mob didn’t control the Secret Service or JFK’s autopsy. The US military did that.

          The mob didn’t teach Oswald Russian. USMC did that.

          The mob didn’t run the Warren Commission. Allen Dulles did that.

    2. the suck of sorrow

      Stone raised a $40Mn budget for the movie. Glad to see someone other than me type B for M.

      1. Martin Oline

        Ooops! I didn’t see that. Everett Dirksen is alleged to have said, “A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon you’re talking about real money.

      1. pjay

        Yeah, I think Haque might skip that chapter.

        In the last few years there have been occasional references in articles or popular culture to the formerly disappeared Butler and the Business Plot. When this has occurred, it has *always* been to fear-monger about the “fascist” Trump, usually with reference to the “coup” attempt of Jan 6. As McCaffrey suggests in the review I cite below, this is certainly its raison d’etre in this movie. Haque is playing his role in stirring up Blue Team fears of the coming Fourth Reich by Republicans. Comparisons with the four year rolling coup *against* Trump by the Democrats and the entire National Security Establishment is not for them; that is a subject for Red Team cheerleaders like Fox News. This is not to say that most of the despicable actions by DeSantis Haque describes aren’t true; they are, and DeSantis is despicable. But this doesn’t matter much to the real Powers That Be. DeSantis is a perfectly acceptable free-market warmonger. Let the polarized “electorate” fight their culture wars. The People Who Count will win either way.

    3. pjay

      My wife started randomly watching this movie a few weeks ago. I was in another room reading, but I could see the TV and hear bits and pieces of the plot. All of the sudden I said “holy s**t, this is about the business plot against Roosevelt!. My wife said “What…?”

      At that point I started watching in earnest. But it was a complete mess of a movie. I’m sure almost no one watching it – and apparently few did – had any idea it was “inspired by” actual events. The story line was absurd, and aside from the Robert De Niro character, and his speech which came in part directly from Butler’s actual speech, it bore little resemblance to reality.

      I often follow the movie reviews of Michael McCaffrey, who sometimes appears in RT. Here is his hilariously vicious review of Amsterdam. You didn’t say what you thought of the movie. McCaffrey makes his feelings pretty clear

      1. Martin Oline

        I feel pretty much the same about the movie. It could have been titled Suicide Squad – the Origin. You could easily tell the main romantic leads had no interest in each other or perhaps they just can’t act. I guess they were trying to appeal to a younger generation but I’m afraid I have gotten too old to realize the sentiment of the song My Generation. Was it Nietzsche who said “What doesn’t kill me makes me old and bitter?”

      2. Jason Boxman

        I’ve given up on movies. My last recently attempt I think was Northmen; I gave up after 30 minutes and watched another episode of some TV show probably.

    4. fresno dan

      The news media dismissed the plot, with a New York Times editorial characterizing it as a “gigantic hoax”. This dismissal by the media sounds very familiar today. Look, up in the sky, a BALLOON!

      the “liberal” NYT. I’d say the biggest conspiracy theory is the conspiracy to call the Times liberal. The Times, never able to distinguish between real and fake hoaxes…

    5. Mikel

      Stone and Peter Kuznick included the Smedley Butler story in their book and 12 part documentary “The Untold History of the United States.”

  5. timbers


    That’s odd…don’t recall being asked for permission/consent if spending all this money to start a war with China by or around 2025 was ok by me. Didn’t get a ballot in the mail…don’t recall anyone running on a platform of war with China…didn’t notice a Declaration of War being debated in Congress. Yet, military higher uppers are saying out loud this is something of a done deal and we need to be ready by 2025 and we’re already late at getting all our ducks lined up, as if the decision has already been made. By whom?

    Maybe someone could file for an injunction with the Supreme Court banning all war spending until such time as The Constitution is followed, and vote taken, to Declare or not a war against China? And while we’re at it how about getting such declaration for war with Russia, too? Or would we the folks paying for the wars “lack standing” or might the Supremes consider such issues beneath them or beyond their jurisdiction like for example allowing children to be pink misted by Presidents in plain sight?

    And since you’re with us or against us, maybe we should include India, Asia, South America and Africa be included in the Declaration, also.

    1. Not Again

      The fact that the Air Force general faced no disciplinary action for his “War in 2025” remarks should tell you everything you need to know. Electing a doddering old fool to the Oval Office just means every cabinet secretary runs their own fiefdom. DeSantis might be a fascist, but at least he has a plan.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        The General mis-spoke when he talked about “War in 2025”. He meant to say “Police Action in 2025”.
        [Are we supposed to take comfort from knowing that DeSantis “has a plan”?]

    2. Carolinian

      Thanks. Giving the executive the power to wage war was the one thing our controversial founding fathers did not want.

      But then these days Congress seems to be rah rah for war as well if too cowardly to vote for it. The entire USG prefers to go on pretending that wars are things that just happen, like the weather.

    3. fresno dan

      didn’t notice a Declaration of War being debated in Congress.
      When was the last time a Declaration of War was declared? No, seriously, I don’t know.
      And knowing how legalistic (i.e., Clintonesque) this country is, isn’t it that we never go to War, but merely take defensive operations to respond to evil, very bad men and to maintain the freedoms we love, but that they hate???

      1. Polar Socialist

        I saw statistics saying that since 1991 USA has done on average 8 military interventions per year. So much hate for the freedoms, so many bad men everywhere.

  6. griffen

    It’s been a few decades to pass since I last darkened the doors of a high school, so I was curious to read the above article on the kerfuffle between Florida and the College Board. While the topic of the day is about the disputed elements of teaching an AP African American studies program, what the article also includes is a state working against a practical monopoly in the secondary and prep education leagues. I would not have realized the College Board operated like any other big business.

    Whether it be something like AP courses, sitting for the SAT as an American ritual, or ordering class rings as a high school senior. Forget playing the board game Monopoly, we are teaching kids the practical terms of monopoly just going through everyday life.

  7. The Rev Kev

    “In Douma cover-up, OPCW’s new smoking gun backfires”

    ‘The report received an immediate and unequivocal endorsement from the US Department of State, the British Foreign Office and French Foreign Ministry – the diplomatic branches of the countries that rushed to bomb Syria in response to the events in Douma.’

    And there, right there, is I think the heart of the story. After Douma, those three countries together launched over a hundred missiles at Syria, even before the the OPCW inspectors had a chance to turn up in Syria to investigate those allegations. This was the one where the majority of the missiles were shot down by Syrian defenses much to the west’s chagrin. So this whole piece of theater is a step to retrospectively absolve the US, UK & France of any blame for their illegal strikes on Syria-

  8. pjay

    ‘Filipinos Protest US Military Deal Eying China’ – Consortium News

    I guess the Marcos family is back. Happy days are here again!

    1. ThirtyOne

      Recently elected president of the Philippines (with close relatives of former president Duterte as aides), Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.—nicknamed Bong-Bong—has networked with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and renewed an invigorated, anti-China alliance.

      Essential for an understanding of the Bong-Bong/Blinken liaison is awareness of Marcos, Jr.’s participation in his dictator father’s phenomenally lucrative recoveries of Golden Lily war gold secreted in the Philippines during World War II.

      This subject is covered in the landmark text Gold Warriors by Sterling and Peggy Seagrave.

  9. fresno dan

    How Joe Biden’s Hubris Could Lead to a Multipolar World The Real Politick with Mark Sleboda

    Too late, the US foreign policy blob and commentariat are starting to ask in increasingly shrill and worried tones if the US is suffering from imperial overstretch from trying to play global hegemon and if they can really take on Russia, and China and Iran (and others) all at the same time in their own backyards – and at last coming to the only logical conclusion that no, they cannot.
    I really don’t see the blob questioning US imperilism – it seems to me they are all for more, More, MORE imperilism. I read quite a bit of repub blogs, and Trump is the great exception with regard to foreign intervention, but as far as I can see most repubs are like white on rice with regard to supporting the general anti Russia anti Chinese philosophy. Biden is not doing anything now that is contrary to the interests of the establishment that I can see. It is not Biden hubris, but American hubris…
    As the Politico link in this very link states:
    It’s an approach (i.e., Biden’s) that has some worried about the possibility of a nuclear confrontation. But for the Washington foreign policy establishment, or, in former Obama administration official Ben Rhodes’ more evocative term, the Blob, the battle over Ukraine has come as something of a deliverance. The Blob is composed of both Democrats and Republicans — a disparate group of elite think-tankers, lawmakers, journalists and others in official Washington — who coalesce around a hawkish foreign policy, championing the old-time gospel of American leadership on the world stage.

    1. pjay

      Trump’s comments on Ukraine are interesting. DeSantis is a super hawk who is quite acceptable to the Establishment. He has been leaning heavily on the “culture war” BS in preparing for the coming kayfabe, but he has very obviously tried to say as little as possible about foreign policy. Until recently, his fear of Trump supporters kept him pretty quiet on that topic as well, but with everyone (including the media) telling him how popular he is he’s been getting a little braver re the Trump issue. Another Jeb!? We’ll see.

      I have no illusions about Trump doing anything positive. But at this point, about the only gratification I get out of our political theater is when Trumpian chaos exposes yet more of our men and women behind the bipartisan War Party curtain. They are making some CYA noises, but I share your pessimism on that subject.

    2. griffen

      More spending on weapons, more spending on military leadership who openly have confirmed we seem likely to be at war with China in a fairly short time. Because the peace is irrevocably lost? Or because our foreign “experts” at the CFR and the Atlantic Council have all been infesting the minds of DC elites and thought leaders for several decades.

      Blinken. Nuland. I can’t trust anything coming out of their mouths. Ever since the rolling disaster that was the GWOT (Global War on Terror, for the younger lot) has it ever been thus. Yes, let’s continue the blank check approach for our military contractors like Raytheon, and Lockheed Martin. Clearly having a plan B is for chumps and Biden is not a chump.

    3. ChrisPacific

      Yes, that jumped out at me as well. I came here to see if anybody had already made the point. If anything I think the Blob is more imperialist than Biden – recall the meltdown when he pulled troops out of Afghanistan. Putting it all on Biden, like this article does, lets way too many others off the hook.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Pumping Mississippi water to the West still being considered to address droughts”

    1st April 2023. A project is announced to pump water from the Mississippi river to the west.

    2nd April 2023. Tannerite sales skyrocket across America.

    1. Chas

      The real solution to the problem is to reduce the human population of the southwest desert so the demand for water drops. Instead, as usual, the ruling class will double down on the bad practice and pump more water to the desert. Now we’ll have to wait until the Mississippi is dry before there is another chance for the real solution. But wait. After the Mississippi there’s the Great Lakes.

    2. redleg

      A decade or so ago, the oil well developers wanted to use record high water in the Missouri River for fracking instead of groundwater. The amount of water requested, though enormous, was going to drop the overfull reservoir at Stanley by only 18-24″. Everyone in the State- residents, government, oil companies, environmentalists- agreed that this was a much preferred option than using scarce groundwater.
      The Army Corps of Engineers refused, IIRC shutting plans down without any discussion (I was working on drinking water supply projects in the area at the time).

      There’s no way in hell that the Corps will ever this, pumping water from the Mississippi, happen, especially in light of low water this summer. Keyword “navigation”. And even if the Corps changes its collective mind and decides to approve of such a project, it will take so long that need for the project will vanish.

    3. Daryl

      I mean, reading the article the people “considering” it mostly seem to mostly be politicians in the SW/California. Trying to figure out a way to keep growing alfalfa in the desert and other such nonsense instead of making the choice to prioritize people over agribusiness.

    4. Big River Bandido

      In a serious country, moving water from the Mississippi over the Continental Divide would never happen because it’s just a really stupid idea to begin with. The United States is not a serious country; it lacks the technical ability to accomplish such an objective even if the suggestion were to progress beyond the hand waving stage where it is now.

      What will happen is Chas’ suggestion above, although the depopulation will not be planned or smooth. But it will happen.

  11. upstater

    Re. The Neo-Nazi Hunter Next Door Rolling Stone

    During the Trump years, Goldsmith worked as chief investigator for Vietnam Veterans of America where he exposed a sophisticated Russian op that targeted U.S. veterans on Facebook to sow racial and political division.

    [From the article, a link to Kris Goldsmith’s sleuthing]

    Vietnam Veterans of America’s (VVA) two- year investigation, beginning in August 2017, has documented persistent, pervasive, and coordinated online targeting of American servicemembers, veterans, and their families by foreign entities who seek to disrupt American democracy. American veterans and the social-media followers of several congressionally chartered veterans service organizations were specifically targeted by the Russian Internet Research Agency with at least 113 ads during and after the 2016 election.

    I dunno, More Trump-Russia and why Hillary lost in 2016. If we want to hunt neo-Nazis, a good place to start is in the active duty military and police. There is “persistent, pervasive, and coordinated online targeting of American[s]” in MSM to dupe the public into endless war, and it ain’t from Russia or China.

    1. tevhatch

      This almost stinks of White Helmets, now that it has the Rolling Stones/NED/CIA endorsement. It’s probably a grift melded with creating an authority figure who can be used to smear Washington regime opponents.

      1. JBird4049

        The problem really, is the hollowing out, and stealth government takeover, of the mainstream media. Add in the growing censorship regime, and just how the average person rely on the media in general and the news in particular?

  12. tricia

    Analysts (like Boyd-Barrett above, Mercouris, Berletic) repeatedly state that Zelenzkiy is under pressure from the US to withdraw from Bakhmut and that he’s supposedly defying this and pushing on anyway. But this is based on what we’ve been told publicly via MSM.
    We don’t know what US intel/military advisors are really telling Zelensky on the ground. This narrative of US urging withdraw as if they’re counseling from afar, and Ukrainians pressing on despite, lends the useful appearance of scrappy independence- I don’t buy it.

    1. timbers

      I’m open to not buying it, too. It’s too easy to report what you want to believe. For example even Alexander Mercouis gets ahead of himself at times like when he says Russia is advancing on Uglahdar or this or that location but the next day Military Summary says Russia took heavy casualties and troops surrendered to Ukraine forces and were captured and pushed back. Who knows whats really happening? Clearly it is within Russia’s ability to end this conflict much more quickly than her current approach but my guess is her political leadership at present rules some methods out. That may change…or not. Meanwhile as this drags on and on, longer and longer range missiles are promised to Ukraine. If true, at some point the Kremlin may face public pressure to finally take the gloves off should Ukraine hit substantial Russian targets.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I’m not sure about territorial goals beyond the 4 oblasts, but I think the goal is to force a collapse/mutiny of the Kiev government resulting in a neutral rump state or force Poland to take on Western Ukraine. Poland doesn’t have the forces to do this.

        I imagine Russia doesn’t want to administer a hostile population especially Azov types. Without genocide, you can’t kill them all, but Lenin was sent to Russia by Germany to destabilize Russia. I wouldn’t be shocked if one goal was to get as many Azov refugees into the EU as possible. Let the Euros deal with them.

        1. GF

          Can you provide a link to the statement “Lenin was sent to Russia by Germany to destabilize Russia”? Lenin did receive gold from Germany but it was used for newspapers (Pravda) and propaganda expenses. Germany didn’t send him to Russia. He arrived from Switzerland before the revolution as Russia was at war with Germany. The resulting revolution in 1917 did destabilize the existing Russian government and it was overthrown.


          1. Polar Socialist

            He took a train across Germany from Zurich to Sassnitz, from where he and his entourage continued to Sweden. Since Germany and Russia were at war, a passage was negotiated with German ambassador.

            A chalk line was drawn on the floor of the wagon the Russian exiles traveled in, since Lenin has asked for extra-territorial status for the compartments the Russian occupied, so that no local official could enter and arrest them.

            Germans requested that the Russians signed a document releasing the Germans of any responsibility for what would happen to the entourage in Russia etc.

            It’s not so much that Germany sent Lenin to Russia, but allowed him to travel to then when he figured the Provisional Government was not fulfilling the hopes bolsheviks had in it.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      @ss covering is the order of the day. Russia’s economy will collapse. The Russians will run out of ammunition. The conscripts will quit. Wunder weapons are on their way. I think the Pentagon advised the current defensive set up and Kiev threw men there with the expectation that magic tanks will be used in an offensive when Russia collapses. Now, that the Russians are set imply raining death on the male population of Ukraine, there will be a point where there are no more Ukrainian men or they simply give up.

      I looked at the wiki for Miley and Austin, both entries are silent about certain misadventures, but I noticed Austin was above the rank of captain in 1991 and Miley was promoted to major in 1993. Neither of these guys were combat officers in the last 30 years, and they seemed to get jobs after heavy lifting. Austin missed the sectarian violence in Iraq (it arguably ended because it was successful, there were no more mixed neighborhoods).

      They may be better than the guys who missed Vietnam who launched Iraq, but I suspect much of the advice from the Pentagon starts with “let’s assume a can opener.” They never planned for Russia to do anything other repeat the spurious claims of German officers from World War 2.

      Miley is one of the dips who has a bit about updating the army uniform for symbolic reasons. Shinseki had this feather in his beret too.

      1. paddy

        liberty ships, lsts …..

        if usa had stuff to fight a a couple of corps’ size orders of battle it does not have transport.

        lack of iron, and high break rate wunderwaffen are one problem.

        if Kaiser would just sell a thousand Liberty ships

        in 20 years a few shells can be shipped

    3. Lex

      Within context advising a withdrawal from Bakhmut makes sense. In fact it should have been done at least six weeks ago. The US wants Ukraine to retain some offensive capability because they want a southern offensive towards Crimea in the spring/summer. The US is unconcerned with Ukrainian territorial integrity except as it intersects with geostrategic goals. The primary one being kicking Russia out of the Black Sea. And because severing the landbridge would be a massive blow to Russia.

      Although I’m no military expert, I’d argue that holding territory at the cost of lives is the wrong choice in at least 8 out of 10 situations. Zelensky’s insistence on holding Bakhmut is bewildering. The cost is extreme and it’s now approaching a point where it may be catastrophic if Russia fully cuts the two major routes of withdrawal. (They’re getting close.)

      He’s in a no-win situation at this point and the domestic context around him is in turmoil. He’s placed a lot of bets on holding Bakhmut and done so publicly. If rumors are true, he’s done so against the advice of his highest military officers. That would indicate against the advice of sponsors too.

      1. ambrit

        However, this assumes that Zelinsky makes decisions by himself. Some have argued that Zelinsky is the puppet of the Neo-cons in Washington and London. If so, what do they see as a ‘positive’ outcome of a massive defeat at Bakhmut? Or do they not even realize that a defeat is possible? This bunch are poster children for Magical Thinking.

      2. JTMcPhee

        One might dare to propose that Z is actually a Russian asset, primed to demolish Ukraine and de-fang NATO. He’s doing a great job of it. If so he deserves multiple Oscars for playing that role to the hilt.

        Weirder things have happened.

        1. Daniil Adamov

          I do not doubt that there are people in Ukraine who believe so already, and their numbers will likely increase in the future.

      3. digi_owl

        Anyone taking bets on how long before he replaces his designer stubble with a toothbrush mustache? Because ordering the military to hold against all advice is how someone else ended up dead in a bunker.

  13. The Rev Kev

    ‘Caitlin Johnstone
    Rank-and-file Australians are so pathetically aligned with US interests in their opinions because we have the most concentrated media ownership in the western world — much of it by Murdoch, who has been intimately intertwined with with US government agencies for many decades.’

    The media here in Oz has really gotten bad. Some days watching the news on the telly about a story from the Ukraine, you just know with certainty that this came straight out of the UK’s 77th Brigade. We do indeed live in an Empire of Lies. Most people just don’t realize it yet. I know people that you would think would know better but no, Russia just upped and invaded another country for no reason whatsoever. It’s insidious.

  14. griffen

    The failed candidacy of Nikki Haley, well it looks over before it even begins. Pretty harsh article linked today, but in all likelihood it also paints the reality of what her likely 2024 Presidential run for the Repubs nomination portends. Running against Trump, well she lacks name recognition for starters.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I wouldn’t be so quick to write her off. Think back how Kamala Harris’s Presidential campaign was dead in the water and then in the space of a very short time, she was brought back from the dead by certain factions and made the Vice Presidential candidate – and now she is a heartbeat away from being called Madame President.

  15. ProgressoChickPea

    “China and the US are Wooing Indonesia” has this paragraph:

    “Historically, Indonesia has demonstrated a strong anti-China streak. In 1965, mobs made up of military, paramilitary and religious groups rampaged against Indonesia’s Communist Party, the largest outside of China. The mobs killed at least half a million people, including many ethnic Chinese. Hard-line generals accused Beijing of being behind a coup attempt that they said was organized by the Indonesian Communist Party. As a result, relations between Indonesia and China were frozen for decades.”

    Even though the link is to a story in the NYT about how US officials “stood by” during the slaughter, the framing is remarkably obtuse, unless of course, the main goal is to keep readers onside. The US role in fomenting the coup is nowhere to be seen — even though, from a strictly journalistic point of view, making those connections would strengthen and dramatize the central thesis even more — eg “Indonesia’s shift is all the more remarkable given this history”.

    1. upstater

      The Jakarta Method by Vincent Bevins

      The hidden story of the wanton slaughter in Indonesia – and Latin America, and around the world – that was a fundamental part of the Cold War “victory”…

    2. Alice X

      Oops, I didn’t refresh the page to see SES’s comment with the same link. I’ll leave mine anyway.

      Chomsky and Hermann in Manufacturing Consent dealt with the relation of earlier disproportionate NYT coverage of the 1965-66 Indonesian genocide (minimal) versus the overstated coverage of the Pol Pot genocide.

      This is a good piece from Jacobin:

      The True Story of Indonesia’s US-Backed Anti-Communist Bloodbath

      By historian Michael G. Vann

      Sukarno, the independent Indonesian founding father was anti-imperialist and prepared to work with the communists. Suharto an obscure military officer led a force to overthrow him, with US support. The previous killing of a few individuals was probably a false flag operation, and was blamed on the communist. A mass propaganda program ensued leading to the deaths up upwards of one million.

    3. JBird4049

      IIRC, in the 1980s there was a lot of muttering about using the Jakarta Method against the “communists” (really anyone who was not insanely right wing) in the various oligarchies in Central and South America. They did try to genocide the Mayans in Guatemala and there was Operation Condor, which consisted of the South American dictatorships and that was most of South America at the time.

      I think that the very methods being used by the various oligarchies and dictators while effective, also brought the attention of the then still effective international news. Add that Americans have at least some knowledge of the continent and the amount of blood and horror that the elites wanted to spill and create was politically impossible. The United States propped-up and influenced those oligarchies even more than it does now.

      It still was a horror.

  16. lyman alpha blob

    The recent denunciation of “socialism” by the 535 daftbuffoons in Congress is clearly the antithesis of providing concrete material benefits. Perhaps we should call it abstract ethereal detriments. Or since we’re in the internet era, maybe just teh stoopid.

    1. The Rev Kev

      That denunciation of “socialism” – was it to decry that happening in other countries or was it really Congress drawing a line and saying that it will never, ever be allowed to happen in America? Not if they have anything to do about it.

  17. fresno dan

    The Arsenal of Democracy Isn’t imetatronink
    You see, for all its massive plunder of the public purse, the US armaments industry is effectively a modestly scaled high-end boutique.
    In anticipation of the casualties attendant to great power warfare, it would become necessary for the United States to reinstitute conscription almost immediately. If a strong anti-war movement had not already been incited by its previous actions, conscription in America would almost certainly induce a widespread political upheaval, with large and aggressive public protests cropping up in all the major cities of the nation.
    The US military complex has been privatized and finacially incented – they don’t do nothing without gobs of incentives. Congressmen who don’t believe in modern monetary theory for any social program sure believe in it for military funding. So there will be plenty of money – but when they start charging 20 million or more (for all the delivery incentives and improvements) there just won’t be enough produced to make a difference.
    I do not see the draft coming back – ?all? the proUkraine pundits have that little hypocrisy of never having served. IS the US willing to endure WWII casualities for Ukraine? I don’t think the currently serving would go.

  18. Carolinian

    Re TAC/Born Loser/Haley–I was chortling over this last night but perhaps she’s not quite so delusional. Haley clear thinks that with right billionaire supporters someone who ticks the right ID Pol boxes can go all the way as long as she is willing to do their every bidding. And she is. When you look at the people who have become Prez in the last few decades Haley probably figures she at least has a shot.

    And that’s a sad comment on our politics. Still even figureheads need some political skills. The article’s assessment of her chances is probably correct.

  19. Jeremy Grimm

    “US Surrounds China …” –[Caitlin Johnstone]

    I noticed a curious echo:
    “Well, either you’re closing your eyes
    To a situation you do not wish to acknowledge
    Or you are not aware of the caliber of disaster indicated
    By the presence of a pool table in your community.
    Ya got trouble, my friend, right here,
    I say, trouble right here in River City.” –[Professor Harold Hill, “The Music Man”]

    “The important thing that the American people need to understand, and what we are going to try to expose in a bipartisan fashion on this committee, is that the threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party is not just a distant threat in East Asia, or a threat to Taiwan,” House China Select Committee Chairman Mike Gallagher told Fox News on Friday. “It is a threat right here at home. It is a threat to American sovereignty, and it is a threat to the Midwest — in places like those that I live in.” –[House China Select Committee Chairman Mike Gallagher]

      1. The Rev Kev

        I heard those words from a young US soldier just after the invasion of Iraq about twenty years ago. And then a few months later this very same soldier was up on war crimes charges.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      And our politicians are indeed the pitchmen and con-men whose product is really obeisance to the will of the billionaires. Whether its more war, or disease, or poverty, or all three at once, the job of the pitchman and con-man is to keep the attention diverted toward enemies other than the billionaires, preferably profitable enemies who can be bombed.

      Perhaps their commissions are paid through lucrative insider trader deals.

  20. fresno dan

    U.S. Oil Is Replacing Russian Crude In EU Markets Oil Price
    So, based on the holy, omniscient, and omnipotent free market, which no descent, devout, reverent believer in true capitalism could ever oppose, me choosing to buy, in a free and transparent market, Russian oil?
    Right? Correct??? Because to keep me from buying Russian oil would be due to Governent Rgulation ……. faints – Sorry for passing out, but the horror of government regulation restricting my freedom in the marketplace was just to much to contemplate.
    Not to mention, THE LAW OF SUPPLY and DEMAND would mean I would not be FREE to choose to buy what I want, when I want, at the cheapest price I want. No capitalist can enter FREELY into libertarian heaven if they countenance Satan’s machinations to disrupt the holy marketplace’s plan for bliss in paradise.

  21. Mikel

    Why Chinese Companies Are Investing Billions in Mexico NYT

    There was only one small bit about the labor side of the equation. I immediately searched for it because I’m wondering with all this “development” going on, why are caravans of people bypassing Mexico? And if all this investment in Mexico is seeking cheaper labor, when are the pressures going to start to stop letting it head for the US border?

    The little bit in the article about labor:
    “…Man Wah does worry about a few things: hiring enough workers and cultivating local suppliers.

    The company has plans to manufacture nearly 900,000 pieces of furniture per year in Mexico. That will require hiring and retaining 6,000 workers.

    Man Wah is accustomed to operating in China and Vietnam, where independent labor unions are essentially barred, and where rural people stream into industrial areas in pursuit of jobs.

    In Nuevo León, the unemployment rate is 3.6 percent. The surge of investment has set off a fierce competition for workers.

    Savvy companies have wooed their employees with extras like quality meals and transportation to work. But Man Wah and other Chinese companies answer to bosses in China, who are conditioned toward thrift while thinking of workers as easily replaceable…”

    As for their golden goose, the US consumer, that goose is getting cooked by rentiers in tech and FIRE.

  22. OIFVet

    Mathew D. Rose – Democracy hasn’t failed, it just doesn’t exist any more Brave New Europe

    I am surprised the Europeans amongst us haven’t chimed in yet on this article. I think it is spot-on, democracy has basically ceased to exist in Europe. In its stead we have a bunch of Eurocrats and various German and US-funded NGOs basically dictating what is acceptable in our “liberal democracies” and what isn’t. Suffice it to say, the range of acceptable thought and action is shrinking at an accelerating rate. It all amounts to censorship and suppression of dissent at its earliest stages, lest it gains traction and sweeps the Europoodles out of their comfortable synecures at the right hand of the US and the transnational oligarchy.

    Frankly, the whole thing is bound to come crashing down. The longer it is propped up, the harder the crash will be. And that’s what’s most concerning to me, because the European left seems to be non-existent, outliers like Wagenknecht notwithstanding. OTOH, there are plenty of right and far-right formations and parties ready and willing to take over. And everything that the Euro liberals do, but particularly their attacks on anything that appears vaguely left, only strengthens the right’s positions, almost as if by design (or a sublime liberal stupidity).

  23. Mikel

    “Mathew D. Rose – Democracy hasn’t failed, it just doesn’t exist any more” Brave New Europe

    In many respects, Brexit was six of one, half a dozen of the other.

    1. Daniil Adamov

      What exactly is the difference between democracy failing and democracy ceasing to exist, anyway? Isn’t ceasing to exist a possible outcome and the most definite sign of a political system’s failure?

    2. tevhatch

      First define what determines failed and exist/non-existence?
      For example of the former, if the function ala James Madison was to fool the mob into doing the new gentry/aristocracy’s bidding while transferring the wealth to the top as efficiently as possible, then it’s been and remains a great success.
      For example of the later, Athenian Democracy in it’s administration was probably the purest form of rule by the demos, many positions were filled by lottery, not by polling, for which every citizen would be forced to participate, but the demos membership would not come close to meet todays standards of (nearly 100% non-participatory) broad based citizenship/tax base/meat-on-the-hoof.

      1. JBird4049

        While Founders were not believers in a pure democracy being worried about mob rule, they were extremely concerned about corruption and tyranny or dictatorship, which they associated with the British. The current massive corruption and the destruction of democracy would horrify them for they were not in favor of rule by corrupt oligarchies that ignored the will of the people, but only did the bidding of the wealthy. They wanted a republic that ultimately obeyed the people even if the elites (aristocrats) were generally in charge.

    1. Milton

      But if they counted flu deaths like Covid deaths where a person dying from another cause is counted…

    2. ambrit

      So, let me get this straight. Over a million die from the flu over thirty-two years. Over a million die from Covid over three years. My simplistic consciousness computes that Covid is ten times more lethal than the flu.
      This is not a ‘simple’ flu, just from the immediate results of infection. Now add in the residual effects of the Long Covid.

  24. Jack

    “The “hard truth”about staffing shortages: they aren’t going away”. Imagine yourself as a hospital bedside night shift nurse, called in for a mandatory meeting at 1100 hrs, listening to statements like these, delivered by. a newbie suit or McKinsey consultant. This is what the bedside staff puts up with. This article contains several examples of the corporate double-talk spewed by management.”…shift their mindsets to change workflows…”.(ie, people unfamiliar with the work will impose their ideas on you); …”Review how to implement some of those teamwork-oriented initiatives for the long haul.” (ie, return to those early days of the pandemic). There are a dozen more. It has overtopped my yellow waders. It’s a five card lingo-bingo. The staffing shortage is directly caused by management, and statements like those quoted by Beckers directly contribute to staffing shortages. When such statements are heard, the nurse knows things will only change for the worse.

  25. Glen

    You will own nothing and be happy.

    Wall Street Is DESTROYING The American Dream | Breaking Points w/James Li

    If I was just getting out of high school or college, I would be seriously looking for a better country to move to so I could “live the American dream”. Because Wall St is making it clear that living the American dream in America is no longer a good option.

  26. Jason Boxman

    The job of hospital leadership is to address the problem by determining what tasks are value-added and which tasks amount to wasted time, according to Dr. Shannon.

    As an example, upon observation at Duke Raleigh (N.C.) Hospital, leaders learned nurses spend 30 percent of their time documenting at a computer and 30 percent in other time-wasting activities.

    (bold mine)

    Because EHR systems are garbage designed specifically for billing code capture and justification.

      1. upstater

        My GP said 50% of US citizens have health records stored in EPIC. As he faced the laptop and I looked at his back. Twice as much “back time” as face time.

        1. flora

          I looked at my EPIC record – the part I could see through my GP’s office patient portal – and noticed they had something wrong. I pointed that out to my GP at next visit and her response was…wait for it… “that’s not our system, it’s just the one we have to use.” She made no changes to the incorrect entry. EPIC may turn out to be about as reliable as credit reporting agency reports.

    1. Glen

      Doctors don’t seem to be in a happy place either. This was in the NYT today (no linky-linky to NYT because of paywall):

      Doctors Aren’t Burned Out From Overwork. We’re Demoralized by Our Health System.

      We really need a more in depth discussion about how all of this impacts things like America’s elites new penchant to pick fights with other superpowers in the multi polar world and call it a “New Cold War”. I think this exposes a profound misunderstanding of how the last “Cold War” was “won”. It was NOT won by the military. It was won because the West has a vibrant middle class that could really live “the American dream’.

  27. Mildred Montana

    >”Biden’s ‘Sputnik moment’: Is China’s spy balloon political warfare? The Hill (Kevin W)”

    What, no balloon commentary? Thank gawd. I have been forced to go on a news fast for the next few days due to the “balloonery”.

    Oh my, how I pine for the halcyon days of “balloon-boy” (2009). What good harmless entertainment that was!

    1. The Rev Kev

      Here is a fun fact on the pilot that courageously shot down that balloon then. ‘The F-22 that took down China’s surveillance balloon used the call sign ‘FRANK01′ in an apparent homage to a heroic pilot from WWI’

      ‘Would you like to ride in my beautiful balloon?
      Would you like to glide in my beautiful balloon?
      We could float among the stars together, you and I

      For we can fly, we can fly
      Up, up and away
      My beautiful, my beautiful balloon

      The world’s a nicer place in my beautiful balloon
      It wears a nicer face in my beautiful balloon
      We can sing a song and sail along the silver sky’ (2:39 mins)

  28. Tommy S

    regarding that SUV… One of those cop/politician things where you just shake your head. So many layers of tone deaf, lack of compassion and self awareness. First thing I noticed was this ‘africa’ meme, with the entire continent near the bumper. (Africa is like one country remember)…African Americans haven’t been ‘from Africa’ in 190 years. Their country is the USA. Their labor helped build the USA into a massive economic power. Cotton fueled northern banks profits. It was like the oil of today. They were forced here. To be slaves, and usually die before the age of 40. It took 100 years after the civil war just to get franchise rights. And to this day they are the ‘other’. Look at the bumper. They are so into ‘otherness’ of working class people, they have to place them from another continent. They can’t recognize American blacks as citizens, with hundreds of years of degradation and brutality against them. They are from like, you know, Africa. Indeed. You can imagine how this Mayor will ‘police’ poor neighborhoods. …

    1. Daniil Adamov

      I remember that one. It certainly contains interesting nuggets, at least. Not sure about this part at the end, though:

      “But sooner or later, they will have to build a Chinese-style democracy, Chinese-style rule of law and a Chinese-style middle class, instead of decrying the collapse of their American antecedents. Reform in China will take an unexpected form — certainly, it will not reiterate the American ancien régime in Asia — but come it will. The hundreds of millions of Chinese citizens who are waiting for their dreams to come true will insist upon it.”

      But will they? It honestly seems more like modern-day whiggery than anything: all roads lead to some sort of democracy, rule of law and the middle class. Maybe they won’t do anything of the sort, though. I do not think the end of history has been reached in China, but I also do not think that what will happen next will necessarily be some sort of democratic awakening brought on by the earnest wishes of hundreds of millions of citizens. Historically, the plans of much less numerous members of elites and wannabe elites have had a lot more impact, whether in China or anywhere else.

  29. Jason Boxman

    Today’s thought, or when I couldn’t sleep last night, I don’t recall, about the move of the liberal Democrat presidential primary to SC to start. By definition, means tested, complex eligibility requirements reinforce systemic racism. So the Democrat party is racist on its own terms by rejecting universalist programs, and reinforcing that which it claims to oppose.

    Nonetheless, I have no doubt SC will once again overwhelming vote for Biden in the primary, if a primary there is to be had this cycle. The former senator most responsible for the largest increase in incarceration of blacks in history. Puzzling. Meanwhile Obama presided over the largest destruction in black wealth in history. Truly, this is a party committed to ending systemic racism.

    1. in_still_water

      And over at the not-totally-warmongers side of the plate:
      A ‘secret’ ballot to choose the head of the RNC was held last weekend. Romney’s niece was the winner by a large margin – according to the counter of the votes.
      Large swaths of both parties are upset.
      People’s voice is their vote. It is scary because this administration would prefer war than a revolt.
      “The right of voting for representatives is the primary right by which other rights are protected. To take away this right is to reduce a man to slavery, for slavery consists in being subject to the will of another, and he that has not a vote in the election of representatives is in this case.” – First Principles of Government, July, 1795

      1. The Rev Kev

        So of course Trump jumps in and says on social media ‘Congratulations to Ronna McDaniel on her big WIN as RNC CHAIR. Now we have to STOP THE DEMOCRATS FROM CHEATING IN ELECTIONS!’ :)

        You seem to have the same in California where you have a few families that have control of who is selected for office. Still, I look forward to the 2040 Presidential election where Barron Trump will run against Chelsea Clinton.

  30. Jason Boxman

    Anyone else finally get their Equifax data breach “settlement” check? Mine is $22.82. They could have kept the change. What a scam. Miscarriage of justice anyone? I’m still waiting on my check from all the BCBS plans engaging in premium fraud. And if you can’t substantiate your claim on that, by default the premium refunds go to your (former) employers, even if you paid 100% of the premiums!! What a scam.

    1. tevhatch

      The private equity fund jacking up your cost of living was seeded by lawyers who made mad money from that settlement, so be grateful for the great economy all that investment in rent extraction brings.

  31. JBird4049

    >>>Mississippi Lawmakers Trying To Take Over Jackson Water Funds, Federal Manager Warns Mississippi Free Press

    My knowledge of the details come solely from the article, but it has the same smell as much of politics across both major parties: We know better than you because we say you are little children, and so, we are going to take your bread, leave you some crumbs, and control your life, after suitably vetting your qualifications and needs of course; funding the whole process with your money; clean water, food, clothing, shelter, and medical care will not necessarily be considered as necessities, either.

    It is a gigantic, modern version of the Victorian poorhouse.

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